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chanson de geste

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Adam de la Halle

Adam de la Halle  

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Literature
(b Arras, c.1245; d Naples, ?1288 or in England after 1306).Fr. trouvère, poet, and composer. Wrote in all genres current in 13th cent., both monophonic chansons and polyphonic motets. Few ...
Africa

Africa  

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Literature
(South of the Sahara)1. Oral LiteratureThe ‘Dark Continent’, the terra incognita of 18th‐ and 19th‐c. European explorers, invaders, and colonizers, was believed to have no indigenous culture. ...
Aimeri de Narbonne

Aimeri de Narbonne  

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Literature
Chanson de geste of the Cycle de Guillaume. The surviving version by Bertrand de Bar‐sur‐Aube dates from the end of the 12th c. Showing the influence of romance, it tells ...
Aiol

Aiol  

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Chanson de geste which forms part of the socalled ‘Cycle de Saint‐Gilles’, being composed as a sequel to Élie de Saint‐Gilles. It recounts the career of Élie's son Aiol who ...
Alexander Romances

Alexander Romances  

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Generic term for the large group of enormously popular narrative poems, mainly in French and with a rich iconographic tradition, devoted to the life of Alexander the Great. Deriving initially ...
alexandrine

alexandrine  

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An iambic line of twelve syllables or six feet. The term comes (in the late 16th century) from French, from Alexandre (see Alexander1), the subject of an Old French poem in this metre.
Aliscans

Aliscans  

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Chanson de geste of the Cycle de Guillaume. Composed in the 1170s it exploits material also known from the second part of the Chanson de Guillaume. The hero, Rainoart, is ...
Ami et Amile

Ami et Amile  

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Short (3,500‐line) chanson de geste from the turn of the 12th and 13th c., telling a story which also appears as a saint's life [see Hagiography], a romance, and a miracle play, and whose main theme ...
Amis et Amiles

Amis et Amiles  

OFr. chanson de geste, c.1200, concerning physically identical friends. When Amiles is accused of having slept with Charlemagne’s daughter Belissant, Amis secretly and successfully takes his place in ...
Anglo-Norman

Anglo-Norman  

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Designating the French language as spoken and written in the British Isles from the Norman Conquest until the 14th cent. It was a western type of French which, transplanted to Britain, developed ...
annals

annals  

(from Latin annus, ‘year’) The yearly records kept by the priests in Rome from the earliest times. They noted ceremonies, state enactments, and the holders of office. The high priest (Pontifex ...
anonymity

anonymity  

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[Greek ‘nameless’]A state where a person's name or other identifying characteristics are not known. A characteristic of internet communication of the kind that takes place in online forums such as ...
Aspremont

Aspremont  

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Late 12th‐c. chanson de geste celebrating the youthful exploits of Roland prior to Rencesvals. The large number of surviving Anglo‐Norman manuscripts suggests that it was particularly popular in ...
assonance

assonance  

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The correspondence or rhyming of one word with another in the accented and following vowels, but not in the consonants, as e.g. in Old French versification.
Aye d'Avignon

Aye d'Avignon  

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Short (4000‐line) chanson de geste which is remarkable for having a female protagonist. Aye is Charlemagne's niece, and all the events of the text—machinations of traitors, assaults by Saracens, ...
Battle of Roncesvalles

Battle of Roncesvalles  

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A battle which took place in 778 at a mountain pass in the Pyrenees, near the village of Roncesvalles in northern Spain. The rearguard of Charlemagne's army was attacked by the Basques and massacred; ...
Bertrand de Bar-sur-aube

Bertrand de Bar-sur-aube  

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Trouvère of the late 12th c. and known author of two chansons de geste: Aimeri de Narbonne and Girard de Vienne. In the latter he gives a famous definition of ...
Bevis of Hampton

Bevis of Hampton  

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A popular verse romance from the late 13th or early 14th cent. in 4,620 lines, based on a 12th‐cent. Anglo‐Norman chanson de geste entitled Beuves de Hanstone.
Bibles (Medieval)

Bibles (Medieval)  

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The term ‘Bible’ encompasses a wide variety of texts in medieval French, ranging from accurate prose translations of the Vulgate to verse adaptations of biblical texts, often in the form ...
Blancandin et l'Orgueilleuse d'amour

Blancandin et l'Orgueilleuse d'amour  

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Roman d'aventure of the early 13th c. It tells, without any attempt to penetrate psychology or motivation, the adventures of the son of the King of Frise. Although the general ...

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